More than a year after Florida legislators shut down A.G. Holley State Hospital last July, nearly 80 acres of the site are for sale, officials at the state Department of Environmental Protection announced Thursday.
Anyone interested in the land, on Lantana Road just east of Interstate 95, must bid on it by Sept. 6, according to a release by commercial brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield, which is working with the state on the bidding.
The minimum bid is $10 million, based on the area’s property value, a state spokesman said.
The land —79.91 acres zoned mixed-use industrial — used to house the hospital, run by the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services for 62 years as a place to care for the state’s most difficult-to-treat tuberculosis patients.
State legislators, who complained about the $10 million expense and the age of the 60-year-old building, tried repeatedly to find other hospitals willing to take Holley’s TB patients, or take over Holley, to no avail. It shut down last July.
The town of Lantana subleases the front 22.66 acres for a recreation complex. That sublease expires June 2024.
Before Thursday’s announcement, the site had only garnered interest from Palm Beach State College, which had considered signing a 50-year, $300-a-year lease with the DEP for 88 acres of the 144-acre site. But one day before the deadline last spring, the college decided not to sign the lease.
The DEP, by law, had to offer the land first to state agencies, universities and colleges, with priority given to state universities and colleges. Other than PBSC, no other university or college showed interest in the property, state officials said.
“Because there was no interest in either a university or college leasing it, and because there is no interest in the city or county to purchase it for the appraised value, we put it up for bid,” said Patrick Gillespie, DEP spokesman.
Once all bids are received, Gillespie said, “we will see who the highest is and proceed with the closing.”
Town manager Debbie Manzo said town officials welcome the news.
“All the staff and commisioners have been very excited about seeing something develop on that site,” she said.